10 infamous batting collapses by Team India

Indian cricket team’s loss against Australia in the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at Canberra was a nostalgic experience for all those Indian cricket fans who grew up in the 1990s. Those were the days when sights of Sachin Tendulkar’s dismissal triggering a batting collapse were commonplace. The entire burden of expectations rested on one man’s shoulder, pretty much the way it is at the moment; with Virat Kohli replacing Tendulkar. In the fourth ODI, Kohli’s dismissal scripted a dramatic turnaround, as India saw their last nine wickets fall for just 46 runs. The shocking collapse at the Australian capital on Wednesday makes Chinmay Jawalekar dig out and pick 10 such epic Indian collapses.

1.  India vs Sri Lanka, World Cup 1996 semi-final, Kolkata

Perhaps the most infamous of them all, Indian team’s batting collapse against the Sri Lankans during the 1996 World Cup semi-final gave the entire nation a heartbreak. Favourites to win the title, India went from 1 for 98 to 8 for 120 within blink of an eye. Tendulkar’s dismissal, after he scored a fine 65 on the rank turner, was the turning point as the wickets fell in procession. The crowd interrupted at this very juncture and the match was awarded to Sri Lanka by default. Vinod Kambli’s crying image from the match became the face of that disastrous performance.

2.  India vs West Indies, Bridgetown Test, 1997

Another shocking collapse, and perhaps the worst of them all when it comes to Tests. Set a modest target of 120 to win, India were comfortably placed at two without loss at the end of Day 3. Tendulkar, who was the captain then, was so sure of an India win that he reportedly even told a chef that evening to prepare a special dish to mark India’s win the next day. However, Indian batsmen fell like a pack of cards and the innings unfolded for just 81. India lost the match by 38 runs and there was huge media uproar.

3.  India vs Sri Lanka, Kanpur ODI, 1986: Batting first, Sri Lanka were restricted to 8 for 195 from their 46 overs. The chase, expected to be a cakewalk for the batting line-up consisting of the likes of Sunil Gavaskar and Dilip Vengsarkar, went horribly wrong when India were bowled out for 78 after being 2 down for 37.

4.  India vs Sri Lanka, Galle Test, 2015

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In one of the most recent such collapses, India gave away the Galle Test after leading it comfortably for almost all the sessions till the fourth and the final day. India had taken first innings lead of 192 runs and had restricted Sri Lanka to 5 for 95, before a Dinesh Chandimal special (162 not out) took them to 367 and helped set India a target of 176 runs. In reply, India were dramatically bowled out for 112, going on to lose the match by 63 runs.

5.  India vs West Indies, Kingston ODI, 1997:  West Indies set India a target of 250 to win in the third of the four-match ODI series. In pursuit, India lost Tendulkar early, but Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid scored splendid half-centuries to keep India in the hunt. At one stage, India were cruising with 3 for 201, needing 49 runs with almost 10 overs to spare. But then the same story repeated with Ajay Jadeja’s dismissal, as India bundled out for 231, losing last seven batsmen for 30 runs.

6.  India vs South Africa, Durban ODI, 2006

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In one of the most shameful defeats, India lost the Durban ODI on their 2006 tour to South Africa by 157 runs. Not that the target was huge — 249 in 50 overs — it was just the lack of application that cost India, who collapsed from 2 for 62 to 91 all-out, losing last eight wickets for just 29 runs.

7.  India vs South Africa, World Cup group match in Nagpur, 2011

Another collapse against the same opposition, though it came batting first. Riding on Tendulkar’s ton, India were heading towards a massive total when they hit the roadblock. Tendulkar got dismissed on the team score of 267 after a brilliant effort of 111. He was the second wicket to fall with over 10 overs to spare, but India choked terribly there on. Their innings ended on 296, with last nine wickets falling only for 29 runs. At one stage, they looked comfortable to reach around 350, but with only 296 on the board, they ended up losing the game.

8.  India vs Sri Lanka, Sharjah ODI, 2000

It was the match where many records were created and broken. Batting first, Sri Lanka scored 299 runs from their stipulated overs. In reply, India collapsed to 54, their lowest-ever total in the ODIs. Sanath Jayasuriya equalled Viv Richards’ record of second highest ODI score of 189. Also the victory margin of 245 runs was the record back then.

9.  India vs New Zealand, Dambulla ODI, 2010

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Another huge and embarrassing loss for India, as they went down by 200 runs against New Zealand at Dambulla. Batting first, New Zealand were 288 all-out, with Ashish Nehra and Praveen Kumar sharing seven wickets between them. In reply, India were dismissed for 88, after being 1 for 39 at one stage.

10.  India vs Australia, Canberra ODI, 2016


The latest of them all, the Canberra ODI should have been definitely won by India. After a disastrous campaign, where India lost the series after losing straight first three games, they made a stunning comeback in the fourth ODI. Set a mammoth 350 to win, they were at one stage 1 for 277, with Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan keeping them in complete command through their hundreds. But once Dhawan was out, the slide begun as team India lost their last nine wickets for just 46 runs. This way, they once again managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.

(A self-confessed cricket freak, Chinmay Jawalekar is a senior writer with CricLife and CricketCountry. When not writing or following cricket, he loves to read, eat and sleep. He can be followed here @CricfreakTweets)